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The Most Controversial Man in France

Éric Zemmour is the most important media personality in France today. He is also the most controversial. So, in February 2021, when he hinted on television that he was considering running for president, he sent shock waves through France’s chattering classes. Despite widespread denunciation, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Régis Debray, Radical Conservative

Looking back on his time as a Cuban-trained communist revolutionary, the French writer Régis Debray recalled that Chile’s Marxist president used to display on his desk a photo of guerrilla leader Che Guevara, inscribed: “To Salvador Allende, who is headed to the same place by a different . . . . Continue Reading »

L’affaire Voltaire

Americans know little of Voltaire. French high-schoolers, by contrast, know him the way we once knew Thoreau and Whitman, before social justice eclipsed history as the rationale for our syllabi. Like America’s Liberty Bell, Voltaire’s tomb in Paris’s Panthéon is still visited by school groups . . . . Continue Reading »

Notre-Dame de Paris, 2015

Most evenings I’d meet Daniel right in frontOf City Hall, to walk home for our mealOn Rue Domat, just westward of Rue Dante.We’d stroll across the bridges, always steal A glance at militaires patrolling thereIn threes (in Charlie Hebdo days), while highAbove the gardens and above the . . . . Continue Reading »

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